Tips to dive back into study mode
Rosemary De Souza
You may not want to face it, but the school year has already begun. That also means that summer is coming to an end as we pack up our bags and get ready for a semester filled with late night studying, early morning Tim Hortons runs on Main Street and napping within the halls of the Riddell Library.
Here are some tips on how to make the transition back into school more bearable.
No more sleepless nights
This may seem obvious, but try to get seven to nine hours of sleep before the first day. Additionally, a pre-sleep routine can help calm your mind before you hit the pillow. Experiment a little to see what calms you; try reading books, listening to music or having a hot bath. If that doesn’t work, try exercising during the day or changing up your bedroom environment, all of which can contribute to a good night’s sleep. According to Harvard Medical School, a lack of sleep can cause irritability, impatience, moodiness and inability to concentrate. Sufficient sleep, however, can help the “brain commit new information to memory through a process called memory consolidation,” they added. Studies have shown that “people who’d slept after learning a task did better on tests later.” Keep this in mind next time you have an exam!
This is probably not the first time you are hearing this, but breakfast is good for you. It really is. In a study published by “Pediatrics” in August 2008, researchers found that breakfast had positive short-term effects on cognitive functioning. They measured this through standardized tests of attention, concentration, verbal, and spatial memory. All 104 students who participated in the study, aged 13 to 20, were self-reportedly more alert in comparison to when they had no breakfast at all.
Jumpstart your day with a healthy breakfast that contains protein and fibre. Yogurt parfaits, egg sandwiches, smoothies and cereals can be enough to give you the energy you need to concentrate until lunch.
Be ahead of the pack
It can get frustrating being bombarded with assignments and future projects upon entering class. Give yourself some time to learn what to expect out of your courses. Always try being aware of class expectations, discussions, and deliverables before you enter class. This information should be available on your course outline. Once you have an in-depth idea of what to expect every time, there should not be any surprises for you this semester.
Plan it out
Get organized by creating calendars, schedules or to-do lists, whichever you prefer. Use a planner, sticky notes, or an online calendar to list out exam dates and project deadlines, which can be found in your course outline. If you lay out your expectations for the week, month and semester ahead of time, you’ll have a good idea of what to expect and will feel more prepared. Staying organized will help you plan your leisure and study time accordingly, prioritize your tasks and tackle things one at a time.
Speaking of tackling items one by one, you can’t expect to be the most productive version of yourself on day one. Start small by focusing on tasks that are easy to tick off your list. During the first few days, that could be reviewing the course outline, creating a study plan or semester calendar and preparing for assignments due the next week (if you want to be that ahead of the game). But regardless of what you finish on any given day, accomplishing small goals can encourage you to aim for big ones in the long run. That way you get more productive as the days go by. Now that’s a tip for life!